The CCE assists companies in addressing real business challenges and opportunities. We use a fact-based approach to our analysis and recommendations in driving real bottom-line results. The CCE works in the strategy and operations space and most projects are cross-functional in nature, typically dealing in multiple business competencies—strategy, finance, marketing and supply chain or operations.
The most successful projects are those that have client involvement and where the project is meaningful to the organization. Depending on the nature of the project, whether it is externally research focused or more internally focused will determine the actual level of client involvement. For all projects, we ask that an internal point of contact be identified so the CCE team has someone to contact for project information, to help set up client interviews and navigate the organization, and to provide periodic reviews of project progress. The CCE team uses a weekly status report to send to project stakeholders and will schedule periodic reviews, including a formal mid-point and final presentation.
Students have an opportunity to preference for the projects that they work on based on their career, industry or content interest. The CCE Enterprise Director uses the student’s preference, as well as capabilities required, to structure a student team. One of those students will be defined as the Team Lead.In addition, each team is supported by a Professional Director who has extensive consulting and industry experience. The Director will meet with the team at least once a week to discuss progress, review project work, help define research and analysis methods, mentor and coach team members, and ensure overall quality of work.
CCE projects generally run on a semester basis with 13-week projects starting in early September and late-January; and 7-week projects starting in mid-March. Additionally, there may be opportunities to do projects over the summer, as well as other starting points during the year depending on student availability.
The planning cycle for projects commences approximately eight weeks before the projects start to have sufficient time for scoping and to be able to plan for capacity—the CCE generally completes 5–6 projects per semester.
The nature of the project (internal focus versus external focus) will drive where the majority of the work is completed. The CCE has office facilities for the students to work at the Carlson School. However, there will be times when on-sight client work or meetings will be required and necessary conference room or desk space would be needed.
If the project requires extensive on-sight work, companies will generally provide the students with temporary security badges in order to obtain building access.
We take confidentiality extremely seriously based on the work that we do for our clients. In our class our students are taught the importance of non-disclosure with regard to what they can and can not communicate and how to handle confidential documents and document disposal.
We typically sign a non-disclosure agreement on behalf of the CCE that covers all students and directors involved. As well, students will sign individual NDA’s when requested.